Monday, July 1, 2019

July! More winter fun

You can see that I had to dodge the showers to get out in the garden and pick some produce for our Leek and Potato soup last night: bay leaves, chives, thyme, peas and bok choy. The rain has been very welcome, but as we have had over 200 mm in June, there has been quite a bit of dodging showers. We still managed to do some gardening and even had three proper walks -every opportunity to get outside was a sanity-saver.

With all the rain and cold (and a dose of potassium) our tangelos have turned a gorgeous deep orange, and become sweeter too. This is a fantastic development - I was thinking that the tree was pretty much a useless duplicate for our very productive ruby grapefruit, and might have to come out. It is now getting to be the sweetness of a valencia orange, and we are very happy with that. 

When it was raining, I have been making up these blocks for a community quilt, from some Half Square Triangles (HSTs) someone gave me. I now have 10 more than the ones which came with the HSTs -and will need to make another 10 I think, then unpick the very weird layout the person had made -and abandoned-to see if I can get something more attractive and worth the quilting. 

The eureka lemon out the front has had an enormous pruning. DH did it with my absolute blessing. I want a tree that I can weed under without the danger of bumping my head on prickly branches, and it needed to be reduced further in height in order to keep the sunshine coming in from the east for the rest of the garden. The fruit was not great this year -nothing like our Meyer at the back-so I think we can give this one some attention and see if we can improve things. 

It was lovely to find a sunny afternoon to go for a walk along the beach. This is down at Hillarys, not too far from where we live, and a favourite walk for us in the winter time. 

This week I have been pondering the big questions in life such as "have we reached "peak lemon" in my suburb? My last attempt to give a bucket of lemons away has been only moderately successful. I may have to resort to preserving (canning in the US) some lemon juice as the only way to deal with the rest of the harvest. Next season we will certainly be reducing the number of fruit we allow to set.

On Saturday it was a very wet and cold day. I decided that the best thing to do was to get in the kitchen, put the oven on and make a roasted vegetable and feta pie. I had some roasted veg left over from another meal, and added some semi sun dried tomatoes and some sour cream mixed through with 3 eggs to bind it all together. My short pastry for the bottom crust, and a commercial puff for the top. With some greens from the garden, a warming meal. 

On Sunday it was still very wet, but we took the chance to go to a nursery and buy some plants. DH spotted some vibrant begonias which he wants to use to brighten up a dark narrow passage down the side of the house. We got a couple of asparagus plants and some basil too. I have been reading Linda Woodrow's book on the  Permaculture Home Garden , and have some further ideas for improvements in our production around here. 

Today is the first day of #PlasticFreeJuly and I think I did ok when I took my favourite op shopped basket to the local  Waste Free shop to fill up my container with wholemeal spelt flour and bring home some waste free egg noodles in a cloth bag. I did pretty good with paper wrapped brie and butter too. The downfall was a piece of Gooda cheese in plastic. Cheese is difficult to buy without plastic -as is milk around here too, which only comes in plastic containers. Nevertheless, it is not about doing things perfectly, but a whole lot of us doing better than before. 

This is our favourite winter spot. On the north side of the house and sheltered from prevailing winds, it is a great spot for morning tea or lunch. DH's orchids are blooming and it is all rather nice. 

Thanks for reading this far. I hope you are also having winter fun (or summer, if it is where you are!)


TheAwakenedSoul said...

What a lovely place to sit. Your pie looks delicious. My mom used to grow orchids. Maybe I will try.

earthmotherwithin said...

@TheAwakenedSoul Orchids are quite easy to grow, we seem to have just the right spot -a bit of filtered light.